John Dory, nettles, cuttlefish, ink sauce

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for John Dory, nettles, cuttlefish, ink sauce by Moon Under Water in Melbourne.
John Dory, nettles, cuttlefish, ink sauce

John Dory, nettles, cuttlefish, ink sauce

Sharyn Cairns
2H 30M
3H 20M

“Stinging nettles are best eaten in early spring,” says Josh Murphy. “We like to pair them with fresh, often raw, seafood. Here we’ve served them with briefly cooked cuttlefish as an accompaniment to the John Dory, which has a particularly sweet flesh.”


Ink sauce
Nettle purée



1.For ink sauce, heat oil in a wide saucepan, add onion and carrot and stir occasionally until starting to caramelise (10-15 minutes). Add garlic and cuttlefish trimmings and stir occasionally until vegetables are deep-brown and cuttlefish is golden (10-15 minutes). Add wine and simmer until reduced to about 50ml (4-5 minutes). Add stock and thyme, bring to the simmer, then skim any scum from surface. Add squid ink and simmer gently until well-flavoured and reduced to a coating consistency (1-1¼ hours). Strain through a fine sieve, season to taste and keep warm.
2.For nettle purée, stand nettles in a large bowl of cold water so dirt sinks to the bottom (10 minutes), scoop leaves from water with a sieve and drain. Blanch leaves until tender (2 minutes), drain, refresh, then drain well on absorbent paper. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add shallot and garlic, stir occasionally until tender and translucent (5-10 minutes), add wine and reduce to 1 tbsp (5-10 minutes). Add stock, simmer until reduced by half (10-15 minutes), add nettles and simmer for 1 minute. Transfer to a food processor, blend until smooth, season to taste and keep warm.
3.Blanch cuttlefish until tender (30 seconds), refresh, then drain on absorbent paper.
4.Trim each fish fillet into two 3cm x 8cm rectangles and season skin with sea salt. Heat two frying pans over medium heat, add 50ml olive oil to each pan, and add half the fish, skin-side down, to each pan. Reduce heat to low, cook until skin is golden and crisp (2 minutes), remove pans from heat, turn fish and add a little lemon juice to each pan. Drain fish on absorbent paper.
5.Place a spoonful of nettle purée on each plate, top with one fish finger. Toss blanched cuttlefish in a little lemon juice, divide among plates, dollop with ink sauce and serve.

This recipe is from the September 2012 issue of .

Drink Suggestion: Equipo Navazos No 27 Fino. Drink suggestion by Campbell Burton


Related stories